September 27, 2010 10:18 AM   Subscribe

What is it called when a techno/similar artist mixes a song with chunks or samples of rock songs? What are some artists or songs that do this?

I love when artists doing techno/electro-house/electronic/etc kind of music incorporate or base their songs around chunks or samples of rock songs. An example would be mixes I've heard of Benny Benassi mixed with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Otherside or The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. I have no idea if these mixes were actually put together by Benassi or someone else.

Help me find more of these types of tracks by telling me what this type of thing is called or by giving examples of songs or artists that do this!
posted by Diplodocus to Media & Arts (18 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Are you talking about the sort of thing where, for example, a DJ plays the music from Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams at the same tempo along with the lyrics from Pink's "Get this Party Started"?
posted by bfranklin at 10:21 AM on September 27, 2010

Response by poster: bfranklin: I'd love to hear that kind of example, but I'm mostly referring to the kind of songs that are some sort of no-lyric techno-type song that include parts of one rock song.

Here's one of the Benny Benassi examples I was referring to: Benny Benassi - My Otherside

It's basically a techno song mixed with The Red Hot Chili Peppers' song Otherside
posted by Diplodocus at 10:25 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: I think you are talking about mashups.
posted by mkb at 10:26 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: I'll give it a listed after work (youtube blocked), but google suggests that this is just a standard remix. There's probably one of these for every top 40 song from the past 50 years. One of the highlights of my raving days was a DJ that dropped a remix of Money for Nothing in the middle of a set.
posted by bfranklin at 10:31 AM on September 27, 2010

Response by poster: Okay, I think then I'm looking for both Mash-ups and Remixes of the techno+rock type. I'd really love more examples that I can listen to. Thanks!
posted by Diplodocus at 10:34 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: Girl Talk
posted by Biru at 10:40 AM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Jason Forrest takes this to a more extreme level than just remixes or mashups, he uses (mostly classic rock) samples as the basis for creating completely new songs.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:42 AM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If it's a 3rd artist blending the techno/electronic music from Artist A with the rock music of Artist B, it's a mash-up (but mashups happen between any genres, not just electronic music and rock).

If it's Artist A sampling parts of a song by Artist B for a new version on Artist B's song (even to the point where it's largely a new song with a small nod to the original), you have a remix.

Unofficial remixes or mashups are called "bootlegs" in some circles, as the producer of the new version didn't get authorization to use the original song(s), but again the term isn't an easy way to find new tracks.

My tip is to find artists who tend to do this more than others. Diplo and crew have the Hollertronix "collective", but it's more than rock + electronic (in fact, it leans towards hip-hop + club type stuff, but there are some rock remix gems in there). In a similar vein, there's Diplo - Shhake It Up (remixing The Beatles - Twist & Shout / discogs).

In the world of softer indie-rock type remixes, Cousin Cole and Pocketknife have done some great things. Again, maybe to soft on all counts. Check their Flagrant Fowl website for samples and freebies.

In the realm of European sounds, there's bootleg Schranz remixes (Wikipedia on Schranz).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:48 AM on September 27, 2010

I think remix refers to a song that is literally remixed without the addition of other material. When a song is actually combined with other music, it's a mashup.
posted by tomtheblackbear at 10:48 AM on September 27, 2010

Also: Benny Benassi does the remix-of-pop-songs a lot. Browse his discography and I'm sure you'll find more (related) gems.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:50 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: mashups FTW~

if you google


you'll eventually find everyone
posted by ChefJoAnna at 10:53 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: It could be a remix, a mashup, or in the case of someone like the Scratch Perverts, plain old (not-so-)simple DJing.

Broadly speaking:

remix - pop/rock people commission house/techno people to make a club mix of their tracks. These are probably official/legit, paid for, the remixer will get multitrack stems and use as much or as little of them in combination with newly programmed electronic elements to make something ranging from "basically the original track with unn-tss slapped underneath it" to something quite radically different and reinterpreted.

mashup - someone takes an existing pop/rock song and an existing club song and combines them. These are most likely unofficial and therefore mostly done without access to the separate multitracks (although sometimes multitracks/acappellas leak online). As such you're less likely to hear individual elements drastically altered, it's more a case of basic time-stretching + pitch-shifting to get them to fit musically, coupled with eqing/filtering to get them to fit sonically, coupled with the sort of stark chopping/switching/looping that would be possible with tape, in terms of structure.

DJing - as mentioned above, ambitious and capable DJs - the Perverts being a prime example - are well capable of throwing stuff like the White Stripes or Nirvana into their club sets, using the time/pitch shifting feature inherent to (cd) turntables and the chopping/layering facilitated by a dj mixer.

Of course, the lines are very much blurred, especially these days with tools like Ableton Live being a commonplace tool for "live sets" which would previously have been purely the DJ (turntables) domain. If you are using it mostly to mix + blend tracks like a DJ, but occasionally lob an acappella on top, is that suddenly a mashup? If some of the "backing" clips you're mixing under the acappellas are your own productions (hard to a find a dj who doesn't dabble with soft synths and sequencers these days) is that suddenly a remix? I don't think there's honestly a clear, sensible answer to that any more.
posted by Slyfen at 11:04 AM on September 27, 2010

I came in to suggest Girl Talk, but I see Biru beat me to it. He's awesome and certainly worth seeing live if you get the chance.
posted by youngergirl44 at 11:22 AM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: This is an interesting question.

Note that, while the term remix is the oldest and most common among the ones mentioned here, and is therefore the first one people think of, it has some technical distinctions that might distinguish it from other forms of mixes; Slyfen has done a good job of fleshing this out. I want to say, though, that a remix is ostensibly still supposed to be the same song; although the beat, maybe even the chords, are sometimes completely removed and replaced in a remix, the basic structure is (at least in theory) still there, so the gist of the some (whatever that may be) is somehow preserved. I say that because of what the term means etymologically; it implies that the song is being mixed again, even if the mixing is done by someone other than the person who first mixed it, and even if the remixer doesn't have access to the tracking of the song and has to separate it out themselves.

One other similar form which differs in a subtle way from a remix is an edit; you don't see this term as much, but it's used a bit in electronica. An edit differs from a remix in that it tends to completely change the structure of a song, and to play with the recording as a recording instead of separating out the various components and mixing them again; a little hook might become the new chorus, a trill on the chorus might be a verse repeated several times, etc. These are distinctions which are subtle and obviously begin to lose coherent meaning after a while – remixes and edits and mashups are, on some level, basically the same thing – but this way of thinking about it makes sense to me. (There is some controversy in the electronic music world, I guess, about whether this is legitimate at all, since it sometimes amounts to merely a re-arranging of constituent parts.)

Anyway, I'm really just working my way up to talking about the sublime (and unfortunately apparently little-known) Matthew Moroder, who's done a number of really driven edits over the last few years that have a dance vibe to them but draw from diverse realms. He did a great series of singles under the moniker Glossy, but he's just started a new one under his newly-launched label, Little Leaf. The b-side of Little Leaf #1 is a soaring jam you should really check out: a great reimagining of David Bowie's 1977 song "The Secret Life of Arabia" as "secret secret." It's so much better than the original, and has such charisma and drive, that I've been listening to it obsessively since I discovered it about a month ago. (Matt Moroder has a lot of great material, including a really good mixed set featuring this tune, on his SoundCloud page.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:59 AM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Orbital often mixed Belinda Carlisle and and Bon Jovi into live performances of "Halycon".
posted by gene_machine at 12:06 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Man, you are really going to freak out when you see the Spawn OST.
posted by Artw at 1:11 PM on September 27, 2010

Best answer: An edit differs from a remix in that it tends to completely change the structure of a song...

I think you have that backwards, koeselitz. A remix uses the multitracks as the source material, so they're mostly very different from the original, often to the point of being unrecognizable. The exception is when an artist releases remixes of their own tracks, like dub mixes which are often almost the same song with the vocals removed. Edits use a finished track as the source material, so they're mostly minor changes, like radio edits which remove the extended intros and outros that DJs use to beatmatch, to make them radio friendly. Or edits that add those back in to make them DJ-friendly. In the disco house subgenre, edits have a different meaning: there’s a long history of sampling disco records and reworking them so they can be played alongside modern house and disco tracks. This evolved into today’s disco edits, which are called edits because they’re working off a finished track not the multitracks, but start to get into remix territory in terms of how much they diverge from the original. For example, Tiger and Woods’ Gin Nation is an edit of Imagination’s Music and Light. The controversy is that some people see it as releasing your own work under the name of a famous/classic artist or record, which leads to a kind of pollution, where producers make tons of low quality edits of famous songs as a form of self-promotion. So the issue is about naming derivative work rather than the legitimacy of sampling in general, and it’s the opposite of the typical sampling controversy, where artists want to be acknowledged as the author. Here, assigning authorship to the original author is considered to be bad, so Tiger and Woods release their edit under their own name but the track itself is named "Gin Nation", a reference to the original artist.

But anyway, the way they use “edit” in disco house is unique to that subgenre in terms of how creative and different they are from the original, but the relevant distinction between edit and remix is the same: it isn’t about creativity, it’s about whether the multitracks were used or not.
posted by AlsoMike at 2:58 PM on September 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Proper links for AlsoMike's tracks: Tiger and Woods’ Gin Nation and Imagination’s Music and Light

Addendum to AlsoMike's differentiation between remix and edit: the notion of "edits" or "disco edits" have come back in a big way, but before this, illicit remixes would use the final track and not the individual parts.

And then there are more simple, literal remixes, where the track is re-mixed to emphasize or diminish certain elements, resulting in the same song having a different sound. In other words, not all remixes are dance tunes. You can get remixes of rock tracks, jazz, really anything where the parts are tweaked in the same arrangement (generally speaking).

More fun music: Mochipet has some free remixes. You'll have to give him a valid email address, but it's probably worth it. Mochipet is good (IMO, of course).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:22 AM on October 1, 2010

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